Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award
Richard W. Lyman Award
Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, where he now leads its Program on Arab Reform and Democracy and its Global Digital Policy Incubator. He is the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as senior consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. His research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. His forthcoming book, Ill Winds:  Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the U.S. and around the world at this potential “hinge in history,” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. He is now writing a textbook and preparing a massive open online course (MOOC) on democratic development. Diamond’s other books include In Search of Democracy 2016), The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He has also edited or coedited more than forty books on democratic development around the world. He directed the Stanford Program on Democracy in Taiwan for more than ten years and has been a regular visitor to Taiwan since 1995.

During 2002–03, Diamond served as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq.

Among Diamond’s edited books are Democracy in Decline?; Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World; Will China Democratize?; and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy, all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran, with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset, he edited the series, Democracy in Developing Countries, which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

Diamond writes a monthly column for The American Interest and frequently consults on policies and programs to promote democracy.

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Recent Commentary

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Beware the Nativist Lurch

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 18, 2016

Yes, promoting democracy can be frustrating and dangerous. But freedom and pluralism are still the only way to sustain effective, lasting governments.


Authoritarianism Goes Global

by Christopher Walker, Marc Plattner, Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Monday, March 28, 2016

Undemocratic states are kicking their influence-peddling machines into high gear.


Americans Should Make Room For Third-Party Candidates

by Gary Ackerman, Larry Diamondvia The Washington Post
Thursday, March 3, 2016

The prospect of a White House run by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has reignited a critical debate about whether it’s possible for an independent to be elected president of the United States.


What Is America Fighting For?

by Larry Diamondvia The Atlantic
Saturday, December 19, 2015

The United States has been at war with ISIS for more than a year. But you cannot beat a surging ideology without a higher sense of purpose.

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A Very Cozy Duopoly

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 16, 2015

One unaccountable gatekeeper—the Commission on Presidential Debates—still bars the door to third-party candidates.



by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Changing how elections are structured can help depolarize U.S. politics without jeopardizing the democratic process.


Timeline: Democracy In Recession

by Larry Diamondvia The New York Times
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In 1974, Portugal’s Carnation Revolution, which overthrew the country's almost half-century dictatorship, inaugurated the “third wave” of global democratization.

Still Springing Forward

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Despite terrorism in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the democracy movement in the Arab world lives on. But its successes are fragile.

Analysis and Commentary

Let’s Have An Honest Debate On The Debates

by Larry Diamond, David C. Kingvia Congress Blog (The Hill)
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Political debates matter. They can alter the course of a campaign, propel a candidate or an idea, and provide voters an unfiltered window into how potential leaders handle tough situations. For the last six months, there has been a significant conversation over the state of the general election presidential debates and the role that the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) plays in maintaining the two-party duopoly that is so fiercely protected by the Republican and Democratic parties.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Technology Hasn’t Delivered More Democracy

by Larry Diamondvia Foreign Policy
Thursday, June 4, 2015

The first fifteen years of this century have been a time of astonishing advances in communications and information technology, including digitalization, mass-accessible video platforms, smart phones, social media, billions of people gaining internet access, and much else.